Sunrise Project Connects Youth to School Gardens

Max Trejo working in West Middle School's garden.

Max Trejo working in West Middle School's garden.

Written by Luna Stephens, Sunrise Project's Youth Journalist Intern

More than just doing weeding, the school gardens week of Summer of Service got youth exploring different garden sites. Going to a different site each day, youth spent time at Central, West, New York, and Woodlawn.

“I really like gardening and I didn’t really have anything else to do” Clare Peltier said.

Many of the other youth also shared a love for gardening. 

Of the three hours of project each day, about half was spent doing real garden work and the other half doing different activities.

“The other half we’d go and see something related to the garden” said Cian O’ Lear,”like the Sunrise Project site, free food orchard…”

Other activities included an exercise about finding the causes of hunger and talking about where food comes from.

O’ Lear said the time split made gardening in the heat “just the right amount of time”.

The variety of activities taught the youth different kinds of skills.

“I certainly found out how to weed, I didn’t know how to weed before” Jaden Grinnell said.

Peltier said she was able to learn what are weeds and what are not, skills she could use in her own garden at home and also got some ideas to bring to her school garden. 

“It’s great, it’s an awesome thing,” O’Lear said, referring to Summer of Service. “I might try and do some more.”

After working in Central Middle School's garden, youth took a walking field trip to the Sunrise site for a tour.

After working in Central Middle School's garden, youth took a walking field trip to the Sunrise site for a tour.